Moms are super moved by this photo of a new mom and her nurse.

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Moms are super moved by this photo of a new mom and her nurse.

The birth of a new baby is an iconic, primal event in a woman’s life, with much attention focused on the new arrival. But there’s also so many other layers to the experience that many don’t hear about, especially in the post-partum experience, when a woman’s body is recovering from the trauma and hard work of labor and delivery.

One photo has gone viral for this reason, resonating with many moms for its matter-of-fact yet dignified portrayal of the post-birth experience. It also spotlights the invaluable roles that nurses play in helping women navigate those stressful, blurry, yet euphoric days after a new baby’s birth.

The photo, taken by Katie Lacer, was shared on Facebook by Jill Krause, a writer and mom of four, who also wrote movingly of her experience.

“I’ll never forget the faces of the nurses who followed me into the bathroom after delivering each baby,” Jill writes. “That moment when I was so vulnerable, so tired, scared, shaky.”

“My swollen belly deflating, and my modesty long gone. They treated me with such kindness and dignity. For me, these have been moments of empowerment and confirmation that I have a real village to help me, even if just for that little bit of time in a bathroom, on a toilet, while a kind nurse shows me how to put an ice pad on my mesh undies.”

The post and photo prompted women to share their own stories of the nurses who were there for them during this sometimes perilous, often intense time — memories that were often profoundly vulnerable and moving.

“I will never forget the nurse that helped me get to the bathroom for the first time after I had my daughter. I was hemorrhaging and when I stood it was so humiliating…but that kind soul didn’t flinch,” Tiffany Barnes commented. “I kept apologizing and she kept reassuring me that it was nothing. I will never forget watching her clean my legs and I just kept thinking that this is what my God means when he says love your neighbor.”

Let’s hear it for the nurses, doulas and so many others that support new families in the days after giving birth — for doing a great service during a vulnerable time, and for helping women feel just a bit more like themselves after a profound change in their life.

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